• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Ten Do-It-Yourself Mothers Day Gifts for Under $10

mini BIC lighter for survival fire making, survival fire making,make fire
600 300 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Mothers Day is May 14. If you’ve got a prepper and/or survival mom, she’ll love a DIY gift and the price is right!

by Leon Pantenburg

The best gifts show some thought and moms always love it when they get something made by hand. Your mother will feel appreciated and the cost is less than $10 for each item. Better yet, create a whole survival kit with these proven techniques and she’ll think you’re a genius. You have time to work on these, so get started now!

Everybody has a prescription for something, or you can recycle plastic containers. Use these free containers to carry firestarter.

Everybody has a prescription for something, or you can recycle plastic containers. Use these to carry firestarter.

Recycled Fire Making kit: Wonder what to do with all those left over prescription bottles? The bottles make great containers for fire starter. Infuse cotton balls with petroleum jelly, fill the bottle, and you have my trusted, go-to fire starter and its own container. Perfect for survival car kits, backpacking, or car camping.

Paracord Shoelaces: One of the most useful ways to carry several feet of paracord  is to substitute it for shoelaces in your shoes. Just check out the length of the shoelaces,  cut the paracord to fit, and fuse the ends with a match or lighter.  (Here’s another way to make shoelaces.) Not only do the laces last a long time, but in an emergency, several feet of strong cordage is available. And there are a rainbow of colors available to help brighten up mom’s hiking boots. She’ll have a blast telling folks she got shoelaces for Mother’s Day.

Credit Card Sized Signal Mirror: Several years ago, I was researching materials to include in a wallet survival kit. I went to the local car parts store and found some flexible plastic mirror material. I used a utility knife to cut it to size, and drilled a hole in the center. The mirror is flexible, and fits in the credit card part of a wallet. It can be used for signaling, of course, but it you get something in your eye, or need to adjust a contact lens, the mirror proves its worth. Cost per mirror is about 50 to 75 cents.

The memo book is the base for a hip pocket notebook. Along with the writing implements and a bandana, this is a group of everyday carry items. (Pantenburg photo)

A memo book is really handy, and mom will use it every day. (Pantenburg photo)

Notebook and pencil: As a working journalist, I feel unprepared and downright naked without a pocket-sized notebook and writing utensil. The internet is full of suggestions on making notebooks from recycled paper. (I made a bunch of these a couple years ago and distributed them to Central Oregon Community College journalism students). Make mom a pocket-sized notebook, and decorate the cover. Mom will use the notebook every day.

Individual hand wipes: These are not appreciated until you finish eating that sticky doughnut in the car. The individual hand wipes are cheap, and they will be used a lot. I carry them in all my day packs and threw one in my kids’ lunches, back in the day.

Solar powered lamp: Go to the nearest ReStore or Habitat for Humanity recycle store and buy some chandelier globes with openings that fit together. Glue the globes together with Liquid Nails to make a lamp-like shape. Drop in a solar powered landscape light and mom will enjoy this unique and creative way to light up the garden. And, if there is a power outage, the lamp can supply some interior illumination

Add several feet of duct tape and a poptop to a standard BIC mini lighter and you have a firestarting kit. Secure the lighter to a lanyard with the poptop.

Add several feet of duct tape and a poptop to a standard BIC mini lighter and you have a firestarting kit. Secure the lighter to a lanyard with the poptop.

BIC lighter: I don’t smoke, but I carry a mini BIC lighter as part of my everyday survival gear. Wrap the lighter with duct tape, and add a pop top for easy carry and you’ve created a fire starting kit for about a buck.

Char cloth: Char cloth is a material that will catch a spark, develop into an ember, and allow you to blow that heat source into a flame. All you need to make char cloth is a heat source, an Altoids tin and some old 100 percent cotton cloth. Here’s how to make it.

Lip Balm: Get a tube of Chapstick or lip balm with a sunscreen in it. Mom can use this for protecting her lips, nose, cheeks and ears. Lip balm is also a great fire starter when rubbed on cotton or some other very fine tinder. Tape a beverage pop top, paper clip or loop of paracord to the case so it can be clipped to a lanyard or key chain.

Key ring whistle: Everybody should have a whistle on their key chain for emergency signalling. Get a small, easy to carry model that is obnoxiously loud. Put it on a key ring with a LED light, and put it with mom’s keys.

Key Chain Survival Kit: Almost everything you need can be found on this key chain survival kit, plus the wallet sized fire starter mentioned above.

Carrying Case: At your local thrift store, there’s bound to be any number of ideas for a carrying case to hold your survival gift for mom. Try a make up bag, a large ski goggles case, 80’s fanny pack, small hippie purse….something fun and all inclusive for your gear. Have a good time putting it together.

Give me a shout by commenting on the post, or contact me directly, and I can help by walking you through any of these ideas.

There you go – you’ve created a wonderfully thoughtful and loving gift to keep mom safe in any emergency. It didn’t cost a lot, but comes with much love. That’s perfect for Mother’s Day.


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